With all the coverage about Bill Gates’ “departure” from Microsoft last week, a few of the stories contained some fascinating details — not so much about Gates, but on the wonderfully unique entity that is Steve Ballmer, that occasionally rage-prone bear of a software executive who also evidently has a soft spot for Hollywood musicals.
Of course, vast amounts have already been written about the eccentricities of Microsoft’s bombastic CEO, but I’m happy to add to the genre with a few amusing (and telling?) factoids from the company’s Town Hall meeting last week:
– Ballmer’s interview with Gates and Paul Allen took place over dinner with Gates’ parents.
– Ballmer considered quitting a month into joining Microsoft: “Jeez, I just dropped out of business school to come to a 30-person company as the bookkeeper.”
– Ballmer’s favorite movie: “Singing in the Rain”
– Gates and Ballmer first hung out together at a double-feature of “Singing in the Rain” and “A Clockwork Orange.” Apparently, Ballmer also got into a fight with a fellow student after the movie, and it somehow fell to Gates (!) to fend off the attacker. File under: Truth being stranger than fiction.